To celebrate the release of a new PDF Bundle of Shih Tzu illustrations, I am running a contest on Facebook and Instagram! There will be one winner on each platform, so visit soon – contest ends Sunday, June 10, 2018 at noon ET. And you may enter on both platforms – twice the chance to win!
The Shih Tzu bundle started out as a challenge. One of my favorite colorists, Lora, asked if I had ever thought about drawing a Shih Tzu (she has three) … and before too long I was happily sketching this cute little dogs. With my crazy swirly twists, of course. I sent a few to Lora to try out, and she posted a lovely coloring of her rescue dog, Lilo, on Instagram and FB. She used grey paper, and it is just adorable! My sister has a rescue Shih Tzu, too, and so I had plenty of photos of the dogs to work from. I ended up with four drawings to complete the bundle on Etsy.
I feel very lucky to have seen African wild dogs (also called painted dogs or painted wolves) at the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe over twenty years ago. Even then, their numbers were perilously low and the park rangers said we were very fortunate to have seen them in the wild.
I love how unique each dog’s splotchy-spotty coat is, and their rounded upright ears. The dogs I drew somehow morphed into leafy, flowery specimens … but I like to let my imagination run where it wants to more often than not.
After the black and white illustration was completed (about 14 hours from idea sketches to final product), I printed a copy on grey card stock, then got out my watercolor pencils to give the sky some color using Albrecht Dürer 154 Kobalttürkis Hell (aka Light Cobalt Turquoise) by Faber-Castell.
I was a little sloppy with the turquoise, but once I add more color with my regular colored pencils, it will all come together. I used Caran d’Ache Luminance (I get mine as open stock through Blick) as well as Faber-Castell Polychromos and Tombow Irojiten pencils for the dog so far. As much as I dream about having full sets of my favorite pencils, I prefer purchasing them “open stock” so I can get the colors I use most. I have quite a few pink pencils that have been used only once – to make a color chart. I don’t dislike pinks necessarily … I just rarely think about using them.
Does anyone else love the Luminance Titanium Buff pencil as much as I do for blending and highlighting?
It will be a while before I have time to finish this piece. In the meantime, the illustration is now available in my Etsy shop as an instantly downloadable and printable PDF if you would like to play around with whichever color scheme appeals to you. And if you are not sure about colors (or which pencils or papers to use), print a few copies and play around until you are happy with the results (the beauty of PDF coloring pages).
Less expensive than a bag of chips and far healthier for you. 😉
“Bo Dog and the Moon” is based on an old pencil sketch I did of a canine companion I had years ago. He was a floppy, bumbling (150 pound) Anatolian shepherd. Bo lived with me in my car for a summer while I collected data for research on birds in the Sleeping Bears Dunes National Park. Yep, I’ve had my share of odd (but always interesting) jobs!
Bo (Mr. Bojangles as he was originally named when I adopted him) loved to swim in Lake Michigan, and sometimes at night we’d hear the coyotes yipping.
A “Color Your Own” version of Bo Dog and the Moon is also available as a soft-cover, 120 lined page, 6” x 8” spiral notebook that can be colored with your own favorite colored pencils, pens or markers. The tote bags, great for daily errands, shopping, hauling art supplies, or even using as a special gift bag, can be colored or painted by you or others as well. Bo Dog and the Moon is printed on both sides, constructed of 100% spun polyester with cotton web handles, lined with black fabric, and available in three sizes: 13” square, 16” square and 18” square.
This past summer, I transferred my Bo Dog image to the back of a denim jacket and after painting blocks of color in acrylics, started embroidering and a sewing on beads and metal studs. The jacket is almost finished (just need to add a few final touches and sew in a cotton lining) and it’s ready to wear. Here’s a close-up of part of the jacket:
Lots of options if you are interested in adding “Bo Dog and the Moon” to your home or wardrobe!